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The Police Department has once again partnered with the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division to participate in the I-PLEDGE Tobacco Enforcement and Training Program. The program provides funding for police officers to perform compliance checks on Newton retail businesses that sell tobacco products.
The core objective of the program is to prevent illegal sales of tobacco, alternative nicotine and vapor products by educating retailers and increasing awareness of changes in Iowa's tobacco, alternative nicotine and vapor product laws. The I-PLEDGE Retailer Training is offered online at no costs. After successfully passing the final test, participants will receive a printable certificate. The certificate is valid for a period of two years. Establishments choosing to participate in I-PLEDGE Retailer Training are granted an affirmative defense, which may be used once in a four-year period. A business may avoid civil prosecution if a tobacco, alternative tobacco or vapor product sale-to-minor occurs in their establishment. In order for the business to take advantage of the affirmative defense, the employee guilty of the violation must have been I-PLEDGE certified prior to the time the offense occurred. Only the business is eligible to avoid civil penalty, the guilty employee will still be subject to a fine and his/her certification will be revoked. However, the training may be retaken for recertification.
In addition to retailer training, enforcement of Iowa’s tobacco, alternative nicotine and vapor laws is also part of the I-PLEDGE program. Enforcement is conducted in partnership with state, county, or local law enforcement agencies. ABD contracts with agencies for compliance checks at all tobacco, alternative nicotine and vapor product retail outlets located within their jurisdictions. Reimbursement is made by the ABD for each compliance check conducted. Retailers receive monthly notifications of compliance checks conducted at their establishment and those found to be in non-compliance are urged to fortify their efforts to eliminate tobacco, alternative nicotine and vapor products sales to minors.
As part of I-PLEDGE, Iowa alcoholic Beverages Division is asking...
Ensuring compliance with tobacco sales is important to reduce the harmful effects of smoking on children and young adults due to illegal sales. Businesses that are found to be in violation will be cited and reported to the State of Iowa for license sanctions and remedial training.